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Dear PoP – Why No Right Turn?

by Prince Of Petworth April 14, 2010 at 11:30 am 19 Comments

“Dear PoP,

When traveling west over the Duke Ellington Bridge (towards Connecticut Ave) there is a sign right that says No Right Turns between 7:00 – 9:30 and 4:30 – 6:00 in reference to turning onto Woodley Pl. It seems odd, as Woodley Pl is a one way street (heading north) and there are no restrictions for making left turns onto Woodley. Any ideas?”

Hmm, that doesn’t make any sense at all. From looking at the photo my best guess is that the no right turn sign is actually in reference to Connecticut Ave. That section of Calvert that turns onto Connecticut has a designated right hand turn lane and signal that could back up traffic during rush hour. I think the folks in the comments have it right. Makes sense.

Can anyone confirm my suspicion?

  • anon

    The reason is because during rush hour motorists try and cut across residential side streets to shave 30 seconds off their commute. Often times speeding. Creating extra noise and making it less safe for the families that live there.

  • ontarioroader

    I’m pretty sure that sign is intended to prevent right turns onto Woodley Pl during rush hour in an attempt to prevent folks using Woodley Pl [and then Woodley Rd] to circumvent the intersection of Calvert and Connecticut. Woodley Pl is residential and also has speed bumps if I recall correctly. It’s pretty clear they just don’t want commuter traffic to use their little street. It would be a lot better use of time/effort if DDOT would just coordinate the lights at Conn/Calvert, Conn/24th, and Conn/Woodley better along with better lane markings. Make the timing better and markings clearer and people won’t feel the need to circumvent the [currently] poorly designed intersection.

    • Brad

      In what world does hiring an analyst to evaluate traffic patterns, an engineer to simulate alternative models, a technician to update the lights, and a street crew to change the lane markings, add up to”a lot better use of time/effort” than just plopping down a no right turns sign?

      Not saying those things shouldn’t be done, but I think the sign is a pretty reasonable stopgap.

      (Captcha: Sunday surfaces)

      • ontarioroader

        Stopgap? I’m almost positive this sign has been here over 20 years.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Ah that makes more sense!

  • the sign it is for Connecticut ave, it is after Woodley Pl.

  • aaron-anonymous

    Slightly off topic, but if you continue straight ahead on Calvert crossing Connecticut, the lane markings have completely disappeared and what should be a left turn only lane into Rock Creek Park becomes a thru lane for those unfamiliar with the area and puts you directly into the turn lane for oncoming traffic. Who does one contact about this?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      That would be DDOT. I’ll ask them on twitter @DDOTDC

  • Badger

    Some of my favorite No Right Turn signs are in the K St, 12th St, L St, 10th St loop. I used to always be confused about why you couldn’t turn there at night.

    Then one day I had to work late and quickly realized why. That’s the “working girls” loop. I think the city is trying to keep people from doing the loop and picking up girls.

    Obviously not the reason for the original post.

    • Anonymous

      That’s correct – allows the cops to stop and ticket drivers who fail to obey the posted signs and perhaps scare them away from cruising the blocks for working girls.

    • ah

      Yeah, not so many working girls in that part of Woodley Park. Unless you’re looking for some rat-hookers. You could easily pick up some rats there.

      • Rick

        Rat hookers are fine, if you’re just looking for someone to nibble on your ear… THEN EAT YOUR ENTIRE HEAD AFTER YOU FALL ASLEEP!

  • Ed

    In reference to the original post, there are indeed the same restrictions on turning left onto Woodley Place if you are heading east on Calvert during morning and evening rush hour. Neither sign is obeyed very frequently- many drivers make those turns all the time. I have seen MPD ticketing people once during the afternoon rush.

  • busted!

    this IS for Woodley Place not Connecticut. I got pulled over there once – I was actually looking for a parking spot (lived a few blocks away then), not trying to take a short cut. Didn’t see the sign!

  • former Georgetowner

    This sounds retarded to me. It’s a public street. Why does this PARTICULAR ONE get to be closed off to people during rush hour? Because it’s residential? Then close off all residential streets to traffic during rush hour.

    My guess is that someone important lives here and lobbied for it.

    If you want people to not speed, then put in speed bumps.

    • ah

      There are tons of places where no left turn is allowed during rush hour for much the same reason–limiting cut-through traffic on residential streets (as opposed to collectors and main arteries).

      • ontarioroader

        Prohibition of left turns during rush hour is primarily done to prevent traffic back-ups caused by cars having to wait to cross opposing traffic, not to prevent people cutting through residential streets.

    • RD

      The idea of having residential streets not be thorough streets is not a new idea in city planning. keep your retarded ass on the commuter routes when going back to Maryland. thanks.

      • Vernon

        allow me to explain.

        woodley park residents don’t like traffic on their side streets because the noise plays havoc with their hearing aides. also it can cause confusion as to when the milkman has arrived


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